Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
My good news is that my X-rays show I am healing properly. My family practice doctor said my surgeon, Dr Ashberg, did a fabulous job. The bad news is I will be in a cast 8 weeks. My husband cooked our Christmas brunch by himself and we had five people over and all agreed it was delicious. So, more positives about my broken wrist; Hap learns to cook. He is a man who can do anything; if he had to build the stove to cook it on, he could probably do that too.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Once the pain wears off Carmen (a few miserable days) you will be amazed at the brain stretching that goes on in figuring out how to do everything. The absolute worse is dressing, hair care and bathroom stuff….(no need for details). I went to the Beall’s Outlet, old lady section, and bought 2-3 pairs of pants with elastic waistbands….no zippers, no buttons, no jeans!! You will need shirts to pull on over your head and if it means several of Hap’s so be it. I wore these two pair til I was sick of them and gave them to Goodwill when the cast came off!
Bathing started to be a chore but once we got it down pat I milked it for all it is worth: fill the tub (might as well add some bubble or salts…NO OILS!!!, pull a newspaper plastic bag over the bandages and have Hal escort you to the tub holding onto your good arm…arm, not hand! This too is important. Lower down carefully while he is still there and then soak away while he gets dinner on. Call out romantically to him when you are ready to be scrubbed. It’s a cross between return to your childhood and the best “first night” ever….you both can fill in this part. Now, no matter how excited or relaxed you are getting out is tricky. Again have him support you with your good arm, stand, he can help you step out…then insist he dry you off…Very hard to do with one hand!! Truthfully!!
Now before all you others rush out to break your wrists the down side is hair care….I usually leaned back in the tub and had Bob do it, not ideal, but it gets the job done. Every couple of weeks my mother would take me to the chain (ie cheap) hair cuttery and I would have them do it professionally: HEAVEN!! (Maybe I can take you for such in lieu of a casserole….) Forget blow drying: men don’t get it. Forget make-up, men (real men) can’t do it.
Last piece of advice (for now): I too had a busted wrist (2 of the 3 were during holidays so what does that tell you about us being overloaded) and being the artist I was (and you are) I decided to spiff up my cast by gluing a rhinestone bracelet on it. Well, pieces and parts that looked like a bracelet…gave me an entre to talk to everyone and keep my spirits up….So bring your left over beads and stones and we can build Carmen a lovely piece of fine jewelry for the holidays…with her permission of course!!
I am so, so sorry Carmen…I’m not making light of the situation at all…but gee, I never got an ambulance ride!! And being the Pollyanna of the group I had to share the good parts…we will look forward to seeing you Monday (good thing Transf painting is done….remind me to drag mine out as preventative meds).
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
This is my Good News post. Yesterday the Pieces of 8 were one of the studios on the Winter Studio Tour, and though the weather was miserable and rainy, we had people coming all day, and lots of sales. It was great fun. I can't believe how prolific our group has been this year, and there were many wonderful paintings to choose from. I'm so proud of my Sisters in Paint!
In other good news, my painting, "The Graduate," won an Award of Excellence at the Florida State Association of the National League of American Pen Women in Sarasota. Besides that excitement, when I went to the Sarasota Art Center where my painting was exhibited, I found a Dean Mitchell watercolor exhibit there also, so I got to see the great painter's work up close. I've been an admirer of that wonderful Florida artist for many years. It was a good day all round.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Order now and receive a free clip-on spray mister in lavender or eucalyptus while supplies last!
Friday, November 20, 2009
P.S. Watch for the Pleininator, coming soon!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Now, in my last entry I mentioned that lady trombone players may look less than graceful. Lo and behold, last Sunday I attended a concert in which a young woman looked mighty cute in her heels and dress, playing her trombone for 90 minutes with the band in the Air Force's Tops in Blue show. Tops in Blue is a fabulous show that travels all over the world. It is made up of all Air Force members who take a year off to perform, and they are each so fabulous, they could be stars in their own right. It's a high-energy show, and they perform every night in a different place. Oh, and it's all free. They are great ambassadors for the Air Force.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Cassadaga is the most interesting town in Florida per square inch. It's a tiny little community that was formed as a Spiritualist Camp, and it is inhabited by psychics. There are many Victorian-style homes, contrasting with this modest little house with its deserted air. Many homes have signs saying "Psychic" out front, and there is an old (and creepy) hotel that is reputed to be haunted. The tiny community of Cassadaga has a feeling of being from another world, and another time.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
We went to Jersey for the weekend for my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. We had the whole South Jersey/Philly experience: a drive through an old neighborhood with many Italian restaurants and front stoops where much of the music was born that baby boomers still enjoy; original Philly Cheesesteaks at Pat’s Steaks; a meal in a typical diner; and a tour of the Historic Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Al Capone and Willie Sutton were housed there, but the place dates back to the 1800’s. Just had to share pictures of the place with you, those crumbling walls were beautiful.
When we arrived back in Orlando Airport we saw a guy in a Zoot Suit, wearing a fedora. He was with a pretty girl with an Andrews Sister hairdo, a 1930s dress and high heels. Her bags were vintage suitcases, the hard brown kind, covered with travel stickers. She said they just like to dress that way. My camera was packed away, darn it.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
There is so much going on that my head is spinning, and that is a good time to paint an abstract. It looks like I'm going off in all directions, but I'm just having fun. There is a more realistic work still on my easel.
The Masters' Pieces, an exhibit by the Pieces of 8, is in the VanGo Mobile Museum, which provides the Artreach program to children in Volusia and Flagler Counties. The traveling exhibit links original, regional art to world art and culture to create interactive, educational programs. The program has served over 6,000 children since its beginning in October 2008. We are really gratified to be part of this outreach to children.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
This was such fun. Cindy Michaud shared her collage knowledge and this was my result. When I got home I felt something was lacking, so I added the picture of the two little girls (the one with the Bandaid is me). I love collage, looking into the layers and finding colors and values playing against each other.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Miniatures are a lot of fun, especially when there is so much going on that I have little time to paint. Friday night I will be helping my friend and Pieces of 8 sister, Cindy Michaud, at the opening of her book, "She Knew." This event will be during the Eau Gallie Art District's First Friday, where all sorts of artsy things will cause the street to jump. Music, books, art, goodies--what could be better?
There are other big things coming up by the Pieces of 8, including The Pleininator!
Friday, September 25, 2009
This week our Pieces of 8 member Carol Schiff challenged us to do an abstract, and it was so much fun, I don't know why I didn't paint abstracts before. This started as a lemon, which was terribly boring, then it became this abstract. The other enjoyable thing this week was painting during the grand opening of the Lexus place in Viera. What a huge and beautiful place it is. There is art everywhere, and on that night there were artists everywhere, painting on scene. There was food, drink, music, and some very nice cars.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I bought this strange-looking fruit at my favorite produce place and presented it to the Pieces of 8 group to paint this week. Everyone did a lovely painting, then we followed my credo: Paint it, then eat it. It was quite tasty, and I am showing how it looked when cut open.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I painted this river while sitting on a rock on a very damp day. It was our first day out, and everywhere I turned was a subject suitable for painting. Go to Piecesof8.net, where you can see some of our activities. No whitewater rafting this time, though, although we enjoyed watching others fall overboard.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I've been on an artists' retreat with the Pieces of Eight, and it has been a fabulous time, as usual. We painted on the mountaintop, by the river, in a field by a barn, and in another field with cows, bugs, brambles, and poison ivy. We are so dedicated that we barely notice such trivialities. People passing by showed interest and we invited them to a "Still Wet" sale, and a good time was had by all. You really meet interesting people when you're sitting outside painting. While I was gone, my husband had to deal with disaster: a washer hose broke and flooded the house during the night. It's always during the night, so that the water can do maximum damage. He had to rip out the dining room carpet and spent all week drying things out. Now he is enjoying the pitter-patter of little feet in the house again (mine). When I got home I thought I was hallucinating, because there was a gorgeous new oak dining room floor! What a surprise! He never ceases to amaze me. He and our son Chad put it down over the weekend.
I did some watercolor in North Carolina, so I'm just posting a little maple leaf I painted. The leaves are just starting to turn, and I love the brilliant red maple color.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We're back from vacation, went to a beautiful wedding in Virginia, a family reunion in Jersey, and climbed a mountain to a gorgeous waterfall (in Virginia). That's the way to get over sitting in a car for hundreds of miles. I like exercise that has a payoff, like that waterfall. I haven't painted in over two weeks, and I am itching to get started. This purple pepper is a small painting that I did just before I left.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Found these vegetables at the produce market, and thought they would make a nice Impressionist painting; however, this one turned out more realistic than I intended. Oh well. We were going on vacation and I didn’t want to throw the peppers away, so I Googled instructions on freezing them. I got many different answers, including one of the most boring You Tube videos I've ever seen. It took a large rustic gentleman four minutes to say "chop them up and put them in freezer bags."
Several sites recommend laying cut-up peppers on a tray in the freezer for an hour or so, then putting them in freezer bags. I opted for that one. This enables me to continue my tradition: Paint it, then eat it. And if there are scraps, compost them. I try to be At One With Nature.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This is a little 6x6 painting of my new flower. Last year my son-in-law pointed out a seed pod on our pink frangipani (or plumeria, if you wish). He said it might produce a completely different flower than the mother tree, so I planted the seeds and got this unique flower. It is not only a different color, but it's larger in size, and much more fragrant.
For some free watering of our floral delights, I went to a rain barrel workshop the other day, and we are now the proud owners of a big blue barrel. It filled up the first day we had it attached to our gutter. Now we can conveniently water the plants on that side of the house without doing the Big Hose Drag. Next I would like one by my compost bin (I told you I was a tree hugger). Saving money and avoiding the Big Hose Drag--what a great idea.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This little lady is a nice symbol of summer. We were at Sebastian Inlet, which has everything anyone could want: a shallow area for little kids to wade in; an inlet from the ocean; a big pier for fishing and just contemplating the beauty of the place; and the ocean side for surfing. There are hiking trails and camping in the area too, if you can stand the heat. A manatee visited while we were there, where the deep water meets the shallows. That's always a treat. All of this is why we put up with living where it's a kind of Hurricane Crap Shoot every year.
Posted by Carmen Beecher at 9:27 AM
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I must be feeling witless today. I can't think of a clever title for this painting. Instead, my mind is wandering in the world of free association as usual, just thinking about the many meanings of the word "mean." Right away, one definition is to explain, or signify, as in what does "mean" mean? Or to have a purpose, as: I mean to get it done soon. Or, humble or shabby or stingy. Or how about malicious, as in "a mean streak." Or used negatively for praise, as in "no mean feat." Then there's its usefulness as a middle position between extremes; or a resource helpful in accomplishing something, as in "a means to an end," or "by all means." A "man of means" has better than sufficient resources. Imagine trying to teach all this to a student from another country. English is complicated. I mean it.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I am fresh out of things to write about today, so I will share my Email Lament with you, which I wrote in protest of all the junk that gets forwarded to me.
Please! No more flowers,
No more Bunnies,
No more promises of money!
No more “Send this
To eight friends
Then you’ll have big bucks to spend!”
No more “Microsoft will pay,
They have dough to give away.”
I can pray without restraint,
Don’t need help from clip-art saints.
That kid’s not missing,
She’s just fine.
That scam began in ’99.
I’m sick of scares, so send me none.
Go check your facts at Snopes.com.
Send this on or trash today,
Your luck won't change much either way.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
My painting group, Pieces of Eight, has a monthly challenge. One member brings in an object for us to paint. Our first object was a toothbrush. This is my toothbrush painting, an homage to Dali, named TranscenDENTAL. An alternate title could be "Persistence of Tooth Decay." We are painting indoors lately because of the heat. Plein Air is now Hot and Humid Air and we are not into suffering. Speaking of suffering, my husband and I were weeding our yard at the same time our neighbor’s landscaper was working next door. He went on for hours without benefit of jumping into the pool frequently, which is what I was doing. I started thinking about all the tough people who work in this impossible heat: road workers, firemen, landscapers, masons, carpenters, roofers, painters…and our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are tormented by the heat, and I don’t know how they do it. Yard work makes me feel like I’m going to explode. To those who are out there, sweltering and miserable, for their families and their country, hot-weather heroes, I salute you!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
This is my Agapanthus, or Lily of the Nile, which hardly ever blooms. Butterflies like it, and so do I.
I was listening to an old episode of "Gunsmoke" while painting a large and complex commission the other day. I used to be such a fan. Wouldn't it be nice to have a big tough authority figure in town like Matt Dillon, who always gets the bad guys, and ties up everything neatly in the end? Of course, after another of his successes, he goes down to the Long Branch to have a beer with Miss Kitty. As a kid, I didn't realize that Matt just might have a little problem with alcohol, and Miss Kitty was a woman of ill repute. I'd hate to see how all this would be depicted on TV today. Just let me remember Matt Dillon as a sort of Superman in cowboy boots.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
My teenage grandchildren just read my little book, The Story of Cindy Rella, and they laughed out loud. This encouraged me to mention it once more. My friend, successful author Carol Jose, says to always mention the title of your book frequently to plant it in your readers' or listeners' minds, so check out my book, The Story of Cindy Rella, at Amazon.com. Just click here: The Story of Cindy Rella.
Monday, June 15, 2009
It's a jungle out there...in my backyard, I mean. It's all so lush and green and blooming. And hot. For June, it is unbelievably hot. The pool is already like soup. What's it going to be like in August? It's a challenge in Florida at that time of year, between the heat and hurricane season. After two hurricanes pretty much destroyed our yard, I really lost interest in gardening for a long time, but have recuperated nicely. We have a loverly bunch of coconuts, papayas, tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, lilies, bromeliads, philodendron, elephant ears, lantana, heliconia, palms, ferns, hibiscus...I could go on and on, and usually do, but it's time to get ready to join my Peeps the Pieces of Eight and do some painting and mutual uplifting.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
These are a few of my favorite things...this painting was done from a photo provided on the blog Different Strokes from Different Folks, where artists are encouraged to paint or draw their own interpretations.
I am so happy to have won First Place in the Miniature Show at the Art & Antique Studio in Melbourne last weekend, and two members of my painting group, Pieces of 8, won Second and Third Place! Click here to see our work.
Friday, June 5, 2009
My rain lilies are going crazy. They do love the rain, and they are springing up everywhere, even the middle of the lawn, and to think I started with a handful of seeds. They go nicely with my grandmother's vase. She would enjoy the lilies. She was one of those people who are at one with the land. She could grow anything, and when she was in her yard she was like Snow White, birds and butterflies flying around, squirrels frolicking, and she was even friendly with a snake that lived in the garden. She taught me everything I know about growing things, and I never have my hands in the soil without thinking of her.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
I know the color of the water doesn't look real, but for some reason it really is a teal color, I know not why. This is a pond on a horse farm belonging to a lovely family in Ocala. Spring had just sprung, so the trees were an unreal color also, so the painting comes with the caveat: I didn't make up these colors.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
My muse was apparently on vacation this week, so I was left to run errands and work in my yard, which is now abundant with papayas, all sorts of flowers, beans, tomatoes, white eggplant, peppers, and a salad table. The salad table is waist-high, on wheels, 54" x 30", and we are harvesting all different kinds of salad greens from it, with (very important) no bending. Love it. All this gardening always reminds me of my grandmother Chloe (nicknamed Chulie). She was a master gardener, and I can't dig a hole in the dirt without thinking of her. This painting came from my archives (circa 2005) and is a watercolor of my granddaughter Rachel Chloe, who was named after Chulie. We were waiting for my flight at the Montgomery airport and she became fascinated with her shadow. She was very young, and is now a beautiful 17-year-old.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This one is 20 x 24 and it made my brain hurt. It's very complex and easy to lose my place. I love the subject, though. Mangroves are an integral part of the ecosystem here, and they are anchors of the shoreline as well as host to all manner of living things.
Yesterday my Peeps and I (ladies of the Pieces of 8) installed an exhibit of our paintings at the Melbourne Airport. The exhibit is enhanced by the sculpture of Joe Thompson, who makes art from skate wheels, forks, pliers and other found objects.
Mother's Day was lots of fun, and involved a nice surprise from my daughters: two giant blue planters. We all have that "Gotta Garden" thing we inherited from my grandmother, and I can't wait to get started planting those big pots with gorgeous flowers.
Monday, May 4, 2009
This garden is a place of peace and serenity. It's so nice to look at when I am sick of hearing the news, with many headlines beginning with the word "Gunman." I am so tired of Gunman. He is wreaking havoc and causing bloodshed. And 24-hour news wants us to know about every horror on earth. They have to fill that time with something. The garden represents the good things God gives us; growth, renewal, beauty, and peace. It's such a pleasure to paint it.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
There is a certain light that I love, when a storm is approaching and the sky turns a dark gray, creating a very dramatic background, while the foreground has a yellow-green cast. It's even better when the wind is whipping, like it was on this day. These are the papaya trees that grew from one giant, sweet papaya that I bought a few years ago. Two of my favorite things: papayas and that yellow-green light against gray skies.